May 2008

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« Urge to Simplify | Main | Halfothesis »


Paul O

Ah, yes. The food dilemma. For us guys, it's simple: don't order too much. Always leave them wanting more. For women, it gets more complicated: are you going to make your guests feel bad that maybe they took too much food, and didn't leave enough for everyone else? And if your guests feel bad about anything, you must have done something wrong as a host(ess).

There's a difference between taking offense, and giving offense. Any guest bothered by too little food is taking offense where none was given, IMHO.

Personally, I prefer "no gifts" parties (what do you do with the trinkets, anyway?), and for the food to come out in "waves": a couple dishes at a time, and some variety between different waves. That way nobody knows for sure when the last wave of food has come out (although they might guess if they see it all change over to desserts from meats), and if they miss it, they feel it was only their own fault for waiting too long, or hoping for more of a particular dish.


See, that's the beauty of an Australian Party. All we need to provide is a fridge or loads of ice in a tub to rummage through and steel the good grog that you didn't buy, and a BBQ. If you are nice, you, the host, will also provide some VB - which is our cheapest beer, but we are all used to it, and some bubbly for the ladies. BOCTAOE - the rich and 'effluent' probably have your kind of party, but we don't go to them because they're confusing.
... culture is overrated.


I usually stand in awe at your logic, as it hits me in a “why didn’t I think of that?” moment. But in this case, I’ve been on that wavelength for years already.

Your example reminds me of the office “Chris Cringle” routine. The week before the Christmas break, we all draw names out of a hat, then have to buy that person a gift with a pre-set price limit. Essentially, you’re throwing your money away, because no one ever gets anything besides throw-away gag gifts.


i WILL be taking into account these valuable pieces of advice for upcoming Christmas season. Not only does it scream "sharing is good", but also cuts out the frustrating organization and subsequent information quest involved in secret Santa present giving.
I for one find free food to be the primary reason for attending parties, secondary to socializing, i mean, i can do that anywhere...why go to a party for that when there a free meal involved! Naturally its an added bonus, but really, i feel no guilt in turning up to a party just from food motivations. Bring on the pigs-in-blankets!

jerry w.

I believe in keeping it a simple deal:

I arrive at the party with empty hands.


I leave the party with empty hands.

What I have stuffed down in my shorts is (no pun intended) my business.

Sometimes I just walk in off the street and say I'm a friend of Bob's.

There's almost always been someone that lives there or a guest named Bob.


I am male, so I think everything should be simple, and this is one of the things I dread about marriage.
For example, I think even more simple: I do not like alcohol, and my friends are slightly nerdy, so a party involves soda, chips, pizza, a big TV screen that plays movies or games, and at least three-five people. Booze is boring. I think cleanliness involves simply soap, shampoo, nail clippers, deodorant and cleaned clothes. I think a comic strip is made of a box and some words, and maybe a scribbly.

Kevin Kunreuther

Here's a gift idea to hand out to all those guests:


"[...] and it doesn’t end until the doorbell rings."

I can't even begin to say how ridiculously accurate this statement is. Women have the amazing ability to instantly change from the frantic overstressed nightmare they've been acting like for the entire 24 hours preceding an event to the strangely calm, warm, and caring character they become the moment they open the door for the first guest.

I wish I could shift emotional gears that quickly (or more accurately, I suppose I wish more women, my wife included, would stay in the latter of these states all of the time and simply avoid the Jekyll and Hyde routine entirely).

Adelaida C.

Nice post today.
Although I miss the daily half-an-hour of entretainment that your post and the comments provided, I'm glad to see that posting less has inscreased the quality of the blog; you're back at the top of your form, after a few days of boring/disappointing posts. Keep it up.
By the way, I'm a woman and I find your idea of the Great Pile O' Rummaging fascinating. I'll be sure to implement it at the next party I'm forced to organise (which is next Saturday); I'll get back to you with results.


As a male my personal thoughts are as follows:
'Who needs invitations and decorations, food and booze by themselves make for a great party.'


Planning the invasion of Normandy is harder. I know. I tried. You try getting special dispensation to drive a Sherman tank onto the Cherbourg ferry. Bureaucracy gone mad, I can tell you. I'm almost tempted to give up on the whole damned scheme.


Great plan for the presents. The problem is that people would just leave early to get the presents that look good. But depending on who the party is for, that could be a good thing.

Kevin Fairchild

"any problem that can be solved using the word 'rummage' is bound to be efficient."

The same could be said for any problem where the proposed solution ends with 'voila'.

Aditya Simha

It looks like there is a birthday party planned for the kids at your place, am I right? :)

Elmo Disarray

I clicked on all the ads on yer site. Do i git a prize ?


First to comment! And, first time too. Several times, you have done a commentary on something screamingly funny. This one's probably right up there.


I'm not sure we go to the same sort of parties.


Hey, when will you discover that you can put ads in feeds?

(and that people are blocking ads anyway?)


I would think that planning the normandy invasion would be harder simply because not only do you have to plan for the landings and break out, you also have to keep all those troops supplied.

If you are male, you might think a party involves invitations, food, booze, and decorations

What about strippers? Or are they a part of the invitaions and/or decorations?


I tell people to buy food as a hostess gift, then you don't have to feed them, they can rummage a doggie bag to take with them


Have a pot luck party and each guest brings a food item to contribute. Then when its time to go home the guests can take a hostess gift AND a chafing dish to take home to clean and to keep (and polish off). Everybody comes out even. Is this communism?

Taxi guy

This sounds like a masquerade party and you're going as a married guy.




You're a genius. I'll be sharing these tips with my mom next time she's frantically preparing for a gathering. Especially the one about cooking less - it's tiring to eat the leftovers for weeks afterwards!


Nah, I don't think the less-food-hence-less line will work. The gifts by the shoe pile, on the other hand, are exceptionally clever. Think I will try that next time at the party.

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